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Thursday, June 22, 2017

But Metrics I Met

It's like they don't care bout nothing man.
Do another MTM yea (ooh ooh ooh).

La da da da da da, Da daaa.
La da da da, La da da da, La da da daaa

I was gonna fill your scripts, but metrics I met.
I was gonna count the pills and label them too but metrics I met.
Your script is not done yet and I know why (why man?) yea hey,
Metrics I met
Metrics I met
Metrics I met.

(La da da da da da da da da)

I was gonna counsel you till metrics I met.
Given you advice about side effects but metrics I met.
(La da da da da da da da da)
I couldn't spend enough time with you then and I know why (why man?) yea hey,
Metrics I met
Metrics I met
Metrics I met.

(La da da da da da da da da)

I shoulda been helping you, but metrics I met.
Find the TP out on the floor but metrics I met.
They don't measure that type of service and I know why (why man?) yea hey,
Metrics I met
Metrics I met
Metrics I met.

(La da da da da da da da da)

I was going to pick up the phone but metrics I met.
Answer your questions and talk to you but metrics I met.
Now I'm getting a customer complaint and I know why (why man?) yea hey,
Metrics I met
Metrics I met
Metrics I met.

(La da da da da da da da da)

I was going to take your script from you but metrics I met.
Figured I'd scan and type it too but metrics I met.
(La da da da da da da da da)
Now my times for my queue are blinking red and I know why (why man?) yea hey,
Metrics I met
Metrics I met
Metrics I met.

(La da da da da da da da da)

Now I don't get to go home until metrics I've met.
And I can't do any other work until metrics I've met.
Not getting a bonus this year and I know why (why man?) yea hey,
Metrics need met
Metrics need met
Metrics need met.

(La da da da da da da da da)

Monday, June 19, 2017

Lower Your Expectations

Explain your problem to me.
I will address the issue and attempt to phix it.
Once I have reached a conclusion, I will present it to you.
Whether or not it is satisfactory is not my problem.
It is, however, the answer, and continued arguing on your part will not change the results.
Think of it as yelling at your TV after the other team scores. Or yelling at the scientists because their science disproved your personal beliefs.

CP: How may I disappoint you today?
Dude Wants A ReFund: I have this discount card and I want a refund.
CP: Okay. Where and when did you get it?
DWARF: The Other Pharmacist at another store gave it to me. I'd been paying $500 a month for this because my insurance won't cover it. She told me the drug rep came in and left these cards. She was able to give me money back.
CP: Okay. I will try. We filled this only one time for you, in April. I'm not sure it will work.
DWARF: She said if you have a problem, just call her. All you have to do is change it to this card and give me a refund.
CP: That's all, huh? Did you activate the card?
DWARF: No. She took care of everything.
CP: Okay. <makes magic in the computer. pushes buttons. pulls levers. bells and whistles sound like it's a Willy Wonka computer system>
DWARF: That sounds promising.
CP: Unfortunately, the results were negative. We lost him, sir.
DWARF: What do you mean?
CP: She activated this card on 15th May. We filled your prescription 15th April. In other words, we filled the prescription before coverage was active.
DWARF: So I'm just out $100.00?
CP: Technically you've been out $500 for the last couple months. That would be like playing the lottery and when your numbers don't hit, complaining to the lottery commission that you're out the multi-million dollar jackpot. You didn't have to buy the lottery ticket any more than you had to buy the prescription.
DWARF: <stink eye> She said you'd be able to do it. She did it.
CP: She did because she activated the card on the day she filled your prescription. If you have new insurance that won't take effect until August, they won't retroactively pay for things before you were covered under their policy. If I have to purchase a new washer and dryer in August, I can't invoke the Memorial Day sale that Lowe's held just to get myself a discount. "But I didn't need to buy them when they were on sale. You need to give me that price today, three months later."
DWARF: You don't need to explain it to me.
CP: Usually people stop arguing with me by now. You're still standing here with a look of incredulity on your face and trying to get me to change the fact that the discount card denied the claim.
DWARF: This is why I don't come here.
CP: Actually it is because you live across town and we were the only pharmacy that had that strength in stock on the day you needed it. Sometimes, even @TheOtherPharmacist can be wrong.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

How Long ...

... is the wait?
CP: About 10 minutes. 
Pt: 10 minutes? 
CP: 10 minutes. 
Pt: You said 10 minutes? 
CP: Did I stutter? Is there another way to interpret "10 minutes" other than as "10 minutes"? Is there some metric conversion you are trying to perform so you keep repeating it aloud while mathing? 
Pt: You said 10 minutes. 
CP: I did. I was wrong. It's not 10 minutes. 
Pt: I knew it. 
CP: What I should have said was: Assuming all things go according to plan and we are not invaded, overrun, or otherwise turned into zombies or wights, and your insurance information is correct and they decide to cooperate and not deny your claim for any reason, and if the status quo remains as quotidian as the rest of my day so far and no one causes "scriptus interruptus" while working on your order then, and only then, shall my estimated wait time of approximately 10 minutes prove to be accurately precise. Or precisely accurate. Either way, the clock shall not drop until I have ceased speaking with you so you may continue to delay the onset of action or effectively move yourself aside so the countdown starts. The tension mounts ...
Pt: On with the body count?
CP: Ice-T! 
Pt: Lemonade!
CP: 10 minutes. 
Pt: Phine. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Bored Today?

Did you ever wonder what some people must do with their days? When I am scheduled to work my plan is to go to work. When I am home, I make plans according to what needs done around the house or in my life. Based on some of the answers I receive from patients during conversations, I wonder ... that's it. I just openly wonder; mouth agape in awe at how life happens.

CP: You have a prescription to pick up.
Pt: What's it for?
CP: Why did you go to the doctor?
Pt: <shrugs shoulders>

---

CP: Let's play pretend again. I'll be the patient and you be the serious pharmacist.
CP's Partner: Okay. Definitely role playing.
CP: Let's do the "nothing better to do" sketch.
CPP: Got it. Ready?
CP: Ready. What are your plans today?
CPP: I'm going to Home Depot to find some plants for my garden.
CP: Sounds lovely.
CPP: What about you?
CP: Not sure. I think I'm going to the Walmart to people watch and pick up a few things, get an oil change, then I was thinking about swinging by my prescriber's office.
CPP: Why your prescriber's office?
CP: It's on the way and I want to see if anything is wrong with me. Maybe I could use a few tests, like a tuneup on my truck. Maybe I'm due for some refills or even some new prescriptions I haven't even taken before. You never know.
CPP: You can't just make an impromptu trip to your prescriber. It's not like going to the mall and window shopping. Or going to Home Depot to get inspiration for your yard.
CP: Why not? How do I know I don't need something if I don't have them rule out something to give me?
CPP: That makes my head hurt.
CP: How else do you explain so many people taking prescriptions for conditions they don't even know they don't have?
CPP: Stop it.
CP: You called to remind me to pick up my prescription. I asked what it was. You asked why I went to the prescriber. I don't know. I just randomly walked in off the street in between my oil change and getting a new iPhone and had the prescriber look at me. He uttered some medical mumbo jumbo, said he'd send prescriptions to a pharmacy, and here I am, hours later, expecting to retrieve them.
CPP: That's not how it works though.
CP: How not?
CPP: No one goes to the prescriber on a whim. Something is wrong, you go to the doctor. If it ain't broke, don't phix it.
CP: What about scheduled maintenance?
CPP: You're not a car. And that excuse is flimsier than what most patients would say in this scenario.
CP: I can't think of what they'd say. There seems to be no logical reason to why these people go their prescribers other than "we had nothing better to do".
CPP: This is why we lose every argument we have with them.
CP: They don't remember anything being prescribed for them. They don't remember having visited their prescriber in the last two weeks. They seem genuinely surprised when we call to tell them they have medications ready. Yet when we ask why they called or went to the office, all we get is "I don't know".
CPP: Must have been bored and had nothing better to do...

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mind Your Letters

Sometimes even the most mundane arguments, nay, discussions, with patients can provide us with a humorous bon mot.

Uber-Tech: <what the patients must hear> How may I help frustrate you today?
Pt: I need to get a prescription refilled.
UT: Certainly. Which one do you need?
Pt: I don't know the name, but it starts with a "P".
UT: All of your "P" medications are too soon to fill.
Pt: <Huffy> No they're not. I know I need it. It's for my stomach or something.
UT: Uh-huh. Protonix is too soon. We just filled it last week. Could it be some other medication?
Pt: <phully phrustrated> No. It starts with a "P". Just fill it.
UT: Ooooorrrrrr. You could go home, find the bottle that is in a state most empty and tell me the number so we may process the correct medication you actually need.
Pt: <mumbling> This is why I hate coming here. You never know what I need.

15 minutes later

CP: CP's Prescription Emporium, you irritate, we medicate. How may I help you?
Pt: I was just in there trying to get my refill.
CP: Yep. I remember. Gave UT a rather difficult time about your "P" medication refill.
Pt: Yeah. Sorry. About that ... I was wrong.
CP: No shit, Sherlock. The first step is admitting you have a problem. Did you find your bottle?
Pt: Yes. It turns out it's my "F" medication. Here's the number.
CP: I see it here: Finasteride. An area a little lower than your stomach.
Pt: Yeah. "I got my "P's" and "F's" confused.
CP: Well, like some people's minds, a "P" is just a closed "F". See you again soon.

Recounting the conversation

UT: What did he say?
CP: He got his "P's" and "F's" confused.
UT: And parts of the body. I always thought you were supposed to mind your "P's" and "Q's".
CP: Yeah. There's a big difference between telling someone to go "F" himself and to go "P" himself.
UT: <Falls on floor>

Friday, May 19, 2017

They Just Don't Get It

Retail is like a basketball game. As long as the other team keeps scoring, you will be behind.
My boss doesn't get it.
She is rather narrow-minded and heavily under the influence of corporate Kool Aid.
I love our conversations, however much they resemble an exercise in futility.

Can't Help Annoyingly Needling Every Location: <struts into pharmacy like a queen> Hello!
CP: <Stares daggers> To what do we owe the presence of her Royal Ladyship?
CHANEL: Just checking on my peons, I mean, my peasants, no, what did they tell me to say?, my drones? Worker bees?
CP: They get the point, Madam Superior.
CHANEL: Like the nun?
CP: Yes. Because you are Nun The Wiser.
CHANEL: Oh. I like that.
CP: Thanks for making my point. As you were saying?
CHANEL: It seems from all of my reports that you keep falling behind in production.
CP: Well, you did cut our hours.
CHANEL: No matter. Our system works majestically so long as you have the right people in all the right positions.
CP: This sounds like a royal fuc... orgy.
CHANEL: Pardon?
CP: Nothing. Keep going.
CHANEL: As I was saying, with our current system, you should be able to pump out 40 to 50 prescriptions per hour.
CP: But we currently have 50 to be typed and 50 to be checked.
CHANEL: Right. So, because Corporate is flawless and perfect and shits rainbows like my mouth, that means you will be caught up in 2 hours.
CP: Dafuq? How do you figure?
CHANEL: Simple math my good indentured servant. <waves like Glinda> That's 100 total prescriptions to be done. Divide that by the requisite 50 per hour and you get two! ah ah ah ah ah Two hours of work!
CP: Thanks Count Dooku. But there is a flaw in your system.
CHANEL: Hardly. Corporate are never wrong. Math is never wrong. Pray tell how you figure, blasphemer!
CP: Simple math You Royal ... Leader lady. I currently have 100 prescriptions in my queue. You are assuming that no more prescriptions will be added to my workload over the course of the next 2 hours. And that is where you fail as a leader. Retail pharmacy is like a basketball game. As long as the other team keeps scoring, you will be behind. When the Cavs get a lead of 20 + points, they don't just go sit on the bench and wait for their opponents to catch up and tie the score. The Cavs continue to score. They try to extend their lead. In the same way, prescribers don't just stop sending e-scripts; patients don't just stop bringing us work to do; patients don't just stop showing up to pick up prescriptions; the phones don't just stop ringing; the fax machine doesn't just get paused; the corporate requirements (vaccines, cycle counts, the order, cold calls, etc.) don't just evaporate.
CHANEL: Then you're doing it wrong.
CP: Oh. I forgot. You've also handicapped me by making me play a man down. It's more like 4v5 now thanks to your cuts.
CHANEL: Okay. <twitches> Well, you'll be caught up before you go home. Cheerio! Pip-Pip and all that.
Uber-Tech: WTF just happened?
CP: The corporate robots get twitchy when you confuse them with reality. We are like a glitch in the Matrix to them. We operate in the real world and they can't handle it when confronted with logic and reason.
UT: You mean "alternative facts".

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Call Ahead Seating

This is what restaurants call it; or some variation that results in the patron using her smartphone to call the restaurant telling them she is on her way. This allows her to add her name to the waiting list now as opposed to when she arrives in 20 minutes.
Some restaurants call these reservations. 
Chain restaurants don't take reservations per se, but they accept and encourage people to use mobile technology to reserve, sorry, save, their place in line. (I understand. People will skip reservations without calling. Instead of reservations for next Friday that may not show, they accept "holds on seats" for 20 minutes into the future for people more likely to dine at their venue.)

Retail pharmacies have used and encouraged this for decades. It's called "call in your refill before you come to the pharmacy". A day or two early would be most appreciated. However, the non-adopters of this technology are also the ones to complain when a party that just walked in the door gets seated ahead of them.

Words of Advice: Call Ahead.
Simple.
1. If you want to make sure we have it in stock, Call Ahead.
2. You just left the office and your prescriber sent it electronically? Call ahead. Call now. If we received it we can move it up in the queue. (Me love you long time for doing this.)
3. For the last 6 months I have personally told you we will not stock your $2500 medication and that you should call 1 or 2 days before you need it. Don't yell at me about not stocking it after I told you to Call Ahead.
4. You want to know why it takes so long to wait for a refill? Call Ahead.
5. I monitor my queue and make all antibiotics high priority or waiters. This minimizes wait times. Not everyone does this for her patients so ... Call Ahead.
6. People always ask if they can wait. Of course. I am not one to keep you from doing whatever you choose to do with your time. However, instead of standing around waiting at my counter, does it not make more sense to Call Ahead, perhaps a day or two or three early, and spend your time waiting ... elsewhere? Like home?

I had a gentleman last week walk in and hand me a bottle. I asked why he did not call in the refill.
Old Guy: I need this refilled.
CP: Why didn't you call this in over the phone so you wouldn't have to wait?
OG: Why would I call it in and have you guys tell me 2 hours, or tomorrow, when I could just bring it in and you'll tell me 20 minutes? I can shop during that time.
CP: True ... Or you could have called it in yesterday, walked in now, just as you are here to shop, and not have to wait 20 minutes because it would already be done.
OG: But I'm here now.
CP: Unfortunately your medication is not. We don't receive our order for another hour. Had you called it in yesterday, we may have had all of it. Or we could have told you to come down at a later time. You will still have to make another trip.
OG: This is why I hate coming here.
CP: Right. Because the lack of a simple phone call on your part somehow translates into bad service on my part. Sometimes you win #PharmacyRoulette and sometimes ...


Friday, May 12, 2017

Pleasure Doing Business With You


So many questions ...
1. Do I please her when she is ready, when I am ready, or when the prescription is ready?
2. Is she expecting to be pleased? Or is this going to come as quite the shock to her?
3. Can I send her away explaining "we do not have this item in stock" so another pharmacy may please her?
4. Can I ask her to call the 1-800 "customer pleasure", I mean "customer service" number beforehand? Y'know, just in case ...
5. Will she be happy with our usual (wait) time of 15-20 minutes?
6. What happens if she doesn't arrive for this until 8:55pm and we close in 5 minutes? Do I make her come again?
7. I see 2 refills on the prescription. Do I have to please her with each refill? What do I do in the case of a "refill too soon"? (Will she not be pleased?)
8. How (quickly and often) do we get more refills?
69. Does the inhaler come into play?